Posted at 10:12 AM ET, 09/29/2011

Jared Loughner, Tucson shooting rampage suspect, can be mentally fit for court, judge rules

For the last four months, the man accused of a January shooting rampage in Tuscon that killed six people and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), has been sitting in a prison facility in Missouri because he was deemed mentally unfit for trial.

Jared Lee Loughner. (REUTERS)
Experts said Jared Loughner suffered from schizophrenia, and forcibly administered him anti-psychotic drugs as part of his mental health treatment.

Now, a U.S. District Judge Larry Burns has ruled that “measurable progress has been made” and that in several months Loughner can be fit to appear in court.

After the ruling was announced in an hours-long hearing Wednesday, psychiatrist Dr. James Ballenger told CNN affiliate KGUN that Loughner is remorseful for his actions.

“He didn't even know what he'd done,” Ballenger said “But now he's remorseful and that is another example of his regaining what makes us human.”

Ballenger also said Loughner is no longer having outbursts, and was able to sit quietly throughout the hearing.

Loughner, 23, could face the death penalty if convicted of the shootings. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

By  |  10:12 AM ET, 09/29/2011

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